Thread Matters: Binding with a Touch (Part 2)

We’re thrilled to welcome Aggy Burczyk back to the blog for

Binding with a Touch (Part 2) – Beautifying Your Binding.

Thanks so much, Aggy!
– – – – – – – – –

And here we are again! As I had promised in my last post, here is the second part of “Binding with a Touch”.

I would like to show you another “beautifying” method – but also another way of how to finish your binding when your day just does not have enough hours to finish a project and binding by hand will just not fit into your time frame.

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First the “beautifying” part.

Prepare a classic quilter’s 2.5 inch binding (and please let me know in case some of you would like a little tutorial on this – I am just pretending everyone knows) and attach it with a 1/4″ seam allowance to the quilt.

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And then use pins… a lot of pins (!) – the bigger your quilt, the more pins you will need!

PINS: Let me put a little interlude into this blog. I am VERY picky about the pins I use for quilting – there is a reason for certain pins. The length of the pin, but most of all the thickness of the pin will determine it’s use. In the picture you can see the different kinds I use. From left to right:

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  • classic, blue flower-head pins with a good grip, a little shorter than the yellow ones, but MUCH thinner, absolutely great for pinning seam intersections that have to match perfectly when piecing
  • classic, yellow flower-head pins with a good grip, very long, rather fine – a must-have for every quilter and great for almost any piecing and pinning need
  • generic, rather short pins with a “button”head, giving a great grip for pulling out while sewing, a little shorter and thicker than the yellow flower-head pins, good for a lot of piecing situations
  • very sturdy (thick) and long pins I use for pinning fabric to the leaders on my longarm
  • special, very fine and very short pins for appliqué work

Let’s get back to the binding. For this method put the pins (I used yellow flower-head pins this time) from the front into the ditch between the quilt and the binding. You will be stitching from the front, therefore the tip of the pin has to be towards the left, pinning clockwise and starting at the top left corner.

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On the back of the quilt the binding will be wider and the pin will show a good ⅛“ away from the border of the binding. The angles will fold smoothly and in a natural way, but in case you feel more comfortable, do use an additional pin here.

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Now you have to stitch a straight decorative line from the front. Yes, straight! Don’t worry; this is very, very easy using a foot with a guide blade in the middle that will glide along in the ditch. On my Bernina 790 I used the edgestitch foot # 10C.

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Since this foot has a wide opening, I was able to use one of the many decorative stitches of the machine – “beautifying” and finishing the binding at the same time! How cool is that!

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When it comes to the corners – don’t worry. Just lift the middle guide blade a bit and sew right up to the corner of the binding. With needle position down, lift the presser foot, turn your work, lower the presser foot and on you go. I prefer to stitch two or three straight stitches to the corner and away from the corner. Using a decorative stitch, this just looks much cleaner.

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This is the beautiful outcome from the front and from the back:

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And last not least just one more little tip in case you cannot or do not want to use a decorative stitch. Just use a straight stitch instead.

Two things to watch:

  1. Look at the tip of the guide blade when sewing – don’t look at the needle! You will have a wonderful straight stitching line.
  2. Push the guide blade slightly against the binding so the ditch is pushed open. The stitch line will vanish completely, when the binding moves back into position.

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For this method I would recommend two thread types:

  •  Aurifil 50wt in a matching color
  •  Aurifil’s clear invisible monofilament thread for light fabrics or the smoke invisible monofilament thread for darker fabrics

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In case you are using the monofilament, use normal cotton 50wt in the bobbin and do not forget to lower the top tension to prevent the monofilament from stretching while sewing.

For further tips on this thread type have a look here.

There is just one more thing to add:

Thread matters! 

Con un caro CIAO e a presto,
Aggy

Dryad Blog Hop

Dryad - Fabrics and Threads

Welcome to day four of the Dryad Blog Hop! We are so thrilled to introduce you to designer Shannon Brinkley, showcase her gorgeous new fabric collection and, of course, her coordinating Aurifil Designer Collection. Officially released by Paintbrush Studios/Fabri-Quilt this past Fall, Dryad is a combination of richly colored and low volume prints. She drew inspiration from both her raw-edge appliqué techniques and her eternal love of trees.

Shannon's booth at the International Quilt Market in Houston last Fall

Shannon’s booth at the International Quilt Market in Houston last Fall

We had a chance to chat with Shannon, to learn more about her collection, her design sensibility and her love of Aurifil threads.

Where did the name Dryad come from and how did it inspire your latest collection?
Dryads were ancient spirits of the trees — it was thought that if a tree died, it must have had a very neglectful dryad. I have always had a deep love of trees and get teased (lovingly) by friends for my insatiable fascination and excitement over trees. They are one of my keenest sources of inspiration, so when I began to sketch for my first line of fabric, naturally branches and leaves were the first things to emerge.

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How did you go about selecting the colors within the collection?
I chose colors I am most drawn to when quilting; I wanted to make fabric that I’d reach for during a fabric pull.

Do you have a favorite print in the collection?
That’s a difficult one… I love the branches print– especially in the blue colorway, but the cross section print that I made from a block print of a couple different tree cross-sections is certainly a favorite… I love the texture. I’m also a sucker for a text print, and this text being one of my favorite poems makes it all the more lovely.

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What do you love most about Aurifil Threads?
I love the vibrant color options and the incredible quality. It always performs smoothly and beautifully.

This particular collection includes 12 spools of Aurifil 50wt thread to coordinate with the fabrics. Is 50wt your go-to, or do you use different weights depending on the project at hand?
50wt is my go-to. I like it because it is perfect for piecing and quilting, but it also works great for machine embroidery– I almost always satin stitch around my appliqué pieces, and the 50 wt is lovely for it.

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How do you go about selecting which color to use for the finishing stitches on your appliqués? Do you prefer something to contrast or something to coordinate with the primary background color?
It completely depends on the project. If the appliqué piece already contrasts the background starkly, I typically will choose a thread that blends well with the appliqué piece. However, if there is not much contrast between the appliqué piece and the background (and I almost always want there to be, because I like the pieces to stand out), I will create the contrast with a thread that is darker or brighter than the majority of the piece. For example, in the scissors quilt, I chose the vibrant orangy/red (#1104) thread to help define the scissors since there was so much going on with the background and in the appliqué piece.

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Do you have any tips or tricks for machine appliqué with Aurifil’s 50wt thread that you’d like to share?
Every machine is different, but my golden range for a perfect satin stitch with the 50wt thread is 2.5-3mm width (however for very detailed work I will sometimes decrease it to 2.3mm) and 0.5-0.8mm length — the setting I use most frequently is 2.7 width and .7 length.

Thanks so much to Shannon for chatting with us!

And now… the GIVEAWAY!
For a chance to win a bundle of Dryad and the coordinating Aurifil Designer Thread Collection, please leave a comment on this post letting us know what you’d make with it! This giveaway is open through 11:59pmEST on 2/12. A winner will be randomly chosen and announced on 2/13. 

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Be sure to visit all of the stops along the blog hop for more information AND more chances to win Shannon’s gorgeous fabric:
2/2 Shannon Brinkley @ Bottle Tree
2/4 Angela Walters @ Quilting Is My Therapy
2/5 Aurifil
2/8 Casey York @ Studiolo 
2/10 Rebecca Bryan @ Bryan House Quilts
2/11 Stacey Day @ Stacey in Stitches
2/12 Kristi Schroeder @ Initial K Studio

Aurifil 2016 January Designer of the Month Heather Valentine

Aurifil 2016 Design Team January Heather Valentine

It’s a bright shiny new year and we have a whole new team of designers for 2016! We are making a block a month and I asked each designer to create a blue and white block. They are going to share their inspiration and tell us about themselves in my interviews on the 15th of each month.

By the end of the year you will have 12 blocks and I’ll have a setting for you!  I’m Designer/Radio show host PatSloan, and I can’t wait for you to meet these 12 Designers this year and get to know them.

My January interview and quilt block is with Heather Valentine of The Sewing Loft.   I’ve been doing projects with Heather and really love what she shares at her website. She has so many great tips and tutorials, you need to sign up for her newsletter!  I also interviewed Heather on 8/11/14, take a listen

Pat Sloan Perfect Colors3

We continue our MONTHLY thread BOX giveaway (seriously folks… you could win a box of my thread which is over $120.00 value.. JUST for making a quilt block… you have to join in!). We will pick one random winner that has made a  block from our 2014 designers and that random person receives a FULL BOX of my Aurifil thread as the prize! Winners are all contacted via Flickr email and posted at our FLICK GROUP HERE

Let’s get to know Heather!

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Catherine Redford Modern Machine Quilting

Hello and welcome to Day Five for the Catherine Redford Modern Machine Quilting Blog Hop! Aurifil is so happy to be helping spread the good word about her incredible new instructional video that is perfect for every level of quilter.  This video has something for everyone!

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Catherine is an avid Aurifil quilter and has been teaching quilting for twelve years.  Her quilts are fabulous pieces of quilting art. If you are unfamiliar with her work, please enjoy these photo samples and visit her website to find out more.

More Than Twenty Three Hexagons

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Embroidered Orchid Quilt

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Ready to learn how you can create lovely free motion quilting with Catherine Redford?

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Catherine’s personal style of teaching quilting is now available on DVD.  This informative video is set up with easy to follow along instructions for every level of quilter.  Catherine offers advice on all the tools needed for successful quilting , special advice to help keep your breathing consistent while quilting ( this one was surprising to me and I will be trying it out), and how to get ready to successfully free motion quilt without marking!

This adorable example has a Hobbit’s eating schedule free motion quilted between wavy lines that were quilted using a walking foot.  Catherine points out where certain techniques ( the walking foot for the wavy lines)  are easier to use! This is very helpful for all quilters! Why stress when you do not have to…quilting is fun!

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Catherine goes through a variety of tracing design patterns to help you gain the confidence you need to take on clamshells, pebbles, flames, hearts and flowers.

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Then she takes you to the machine to show how you can apply those same designs that you practiced drawing and add them to your quilt following the same steps. Pictured here is the sweet clamshell design.

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In celebration of her new Modern Machine Quilting dvd release, Catherine is running a giveaway over on her blog. Simply go to her website and leave a comment. At the end of the blog hop (calendar listed below) , she will pick 2 DVD winners and 1 grand prize winner who will receive a Stella task lamp (winner’s choice of color!) and a DVD as well.

Don’t miss out on any of the insights for this fantastic video by visiting the following blog hop calendar!

Thursday January 7th – Catherine Redford
Friday January 8th – Fresh Lemons Quilts 
Saturday January 9th – Bonnie Hunter
Sunday January 10th – Svetlana Sotak
Monday January 11th – Kim Niedzwiecki (Aurifil)
Tuesday January 12th – Julia Wood
Wednesday January 13th – Susan Brubaker Knapp
Thursday January 14th – Jenny Lyon
Friday January 15th – Kathy Matthews
Saturday January 16th – Back to Catherine!

The beginning of a new year is a wonderful time to learn some new free motion quilting techniques or brush up on some old ones with new ideas!  Make Modern Machine Quilting part of your quilting library!

To add to the fun blog hop, Aurifil decided to offer a GIVEAWAY with some of Catherine’s favorite Aurifil threads!  One winner will receive three large spools of the most popular perfect piecing and quilting 50wt thread!  One solid #2600 and two of Catherine’s most favorite go to variegated, #4651 and #4060.

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To enter for your chance to win these threads visit and follow the easy Rafflecopter prompts!   All of the options are not a requirement to be entered for your chance to win!  You choose the ones you like! The giveaway will close on 16 January and the random winner will be announced on or about 18 January.  This giveaway is open to all of our international friends!

 

Thread Matters: Binding with a Touch

Aurifil is thrilled to introduce a once a month guest post by Aggy Burczyk! Aggy knows her way around a machine as a technical long arm expert for Bernina, she loves Aurifil threads and is also a talented quilter and designer. Aggy is one busy person! There is so much to know about the different Aurifil thread weights and Aggy is going to share her tips and tricks on how to use your Aurifil threads correctly and in ways that you may not have used them before. Please join us in welcoming Aggy!

Thread Matters!

Who would doubt that thread matters?
Often we just forget how MUCH thread can really influence our designs and how much the right thread can bring a touch of perfection to our little (or big) projects. This is equally valid for thread weight and thread color.

Welcome to the first issue of Aurifil’s new blog “Thread Matters” – I am beyond thrilled that I was asked to participate in this new adventure, trying to give to all present and future Aurifil lovers a variety of information around this wonderful thread: tips & tricks to improve your work.

“Binding with a Touch Part 1 – Beautifying your binding ” is the first little project I would like to share with you. Yes, part 1(!) – there is so much to tell, that it needs more than one blog issue to cover it all!
Did you ever think of “beautifying” your binding? Why not personalize the binding, especially when using a solid or a tone on tone fabric? Our sewing machines have many, many beautiful stitches we hardly use. This is a good opportunity to combine different thread weights and special embroidery stitches to show off in the binding.

For the first beautified binding I used an Aurifil cotton 28 wt, color 2810 with a 90/14 top stitch needle for the embroidery part and a fabric-matching Aurifil cotton 50wt, color 1100 with a 80/12 top stitch needle to attach the binding.

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I cut standard 2,5” strips, joined them, folded and ironed well in half wrong sides together and applied the embroidery to the folded strip, knowing that for the closure I would have to be a little bit more creative than usual.

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For the embroidery I used a lovely stitch from my Bernina 550 and let the strip flow along the 5/8” marking on the stitch plate. Taking care to have the wrong side of the embroidery up, I used a fabric-matching pink Aurifil 50wt and a 1⁄4” foot (#37) to attach the binding to my little sample piece.

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I knew I did not want to join the ends of the binding with just a straight seam, which would have ment to have to cope with a lot of unhappy bulk in that spot and thought the best way would be to hide the joining ends in one of the corners. The necessary folding for this came very close to origami, but turned out to be perfect for this purpose.

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The rest was then a piece of cake, because I just LOVE finishing my bindings by hand with an invisible whip stitch, this time using again the matching pink Aurifil 50wt cotton.

Yes, I cannot deny it – to some it is almost as bad as naming “Voldemort”, but I love the “H” word. But what if I came up with an idea for all of you who would like to have the “Non-H” alternative? So, let’s start from the beginning with new colors and using the Bernina flat felled foot (#71) to attach the binding.

This time I used a variegated Aurifil cotton 28 wt, color 4663 with a 90/14 top stitch needle for the embroidery part and a fabric-matching turquoise Aurifil cotton 50wt, color 5006 with a 80/12 top stitch needle to attach the binding. I decided to do the embroidery on a simple fabric layer in order to be able to do the standard binding closure. It needed some trials to find the right measures and positioning. To cut a long story short, here is what I did for a perfect outcome: I cut again 2,5” strips, joined them on the diagonal, folded and ironed well in half and applied some iron on light stabilizer (Pellon light, but I guess any other brand will do) to the wrong side of one half.

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This time I decided to use the seam guide attached to the back of the foot in order to be able to sew a perfect straight line in the middle of the stabilizer.

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As anticipated, the fabric shrank a little on the embroidered half. Since anyhow I needed a max. 2” strip for the flat felled foot (#71) I was going to use to attach the binding, I simply trimmed the folded binding to a perfect 1”.

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Now to the beauty of the BERNINA flat felled foot. I brought my needle completely to the left (-5 position) and attached the binding with the non embroidered side up with a perfect 1⁄4”.

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I closed the binding as usually on a diagonal without a binding tool, but you may want to use one if you feel safer. I then positioned the needle one position to the right (now -4) and attached the binding from the back with the help of the guide of this special foot. It magically always works.

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An excellent description of this Flat Fell Foot method was written by Lisa Yarost from A Woman A Day .

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You will get a perfect binding without the “H” word, just be aware that you should use binding strips not wider than 2” – 2 1⁄4 “.

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Enjoy some of your own beautified bindings, be creative and try your own Aurifil thread weight and motif combinations for special occasions (a new baby, kitchen utensils … ) and always remember …

Thread matters! Un abbraccio Aggy

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday { Hearts}

Happy New Year and Welcome back to top Ten Tuesday! As soon as the Christmas decorations are placed safely back in their boxes and bins, it is  time to get started on sweet projects for Valentine’s Day!   Be ready to share your love with free heart projects, patterns and tutorials from top designers to create your own personal Love Shack with quilts, cushion covers, embroidery and more!

 

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1. Valentine’s Quilted Heart with Jemima Flendt from Tied with a Ribbon

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2. Cupid’s Arrow by Tamara Kate for Michael Miller Fabrics

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3. Valentine Pot Holder by A Spoonful of Sugar

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4. Heart Blocks in Multiple Sizes by Cluck Cluck Sew

Heart Blocks in Multiple Sizes

 

5. Weaving Danish Heart Baskets for Jul by Radmegan

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6. Gathered Heart Pillow by V and Co.

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7. Fabric Heart Valentines by Flamingo Toes

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8. Penny Love by Sara Lawson for Aurifil Designer Block of the Month

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9. I {heart} You Cross Stitch Pattern by Do Small Things With Love

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10.  Heart Collector Pillow by Miss Lovie

12 Valentine's Day Heart Pillow

 

 

Find more free patterns, tips, tutorials and inspiration by following the Aurifil Pinterest boards, the Aurifil Facebook page and on Aurifilthread Instagram! All are updated daily and throughout the day to provide you with the best the sewing world has to offer!

For more information about Aurifil products, including thread weights and Designer Collections, and where to purchase from your local quilt shop or select online shops, please visit Aurifil.com.

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday {Sewing Humor}

Sewists and quilters have the best sense of humor!  This week Top Ten Tuesday is the best of sewing and quilting humor from bloggers and designers that just love to keep us in stitches!

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1.Fabracadabra found on The Sewing Rabbit 

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2.  Measure twice by The Sewing Loft

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3. I Love Lucy Classic found on Podunk Pretties

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4. Running out of bobbin thread found on Melly Sews

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5. Manslation by Jess Abbott

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6.  Expert opinion by FavCrafts

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7. What clean house?  found on Sewing Parts Online

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9. Can I borrow your fabric scissors by Right Sides Together

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10. Proquiltinating by Sew Sleepless

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Find more free patterns, tips, tutorials and inspiration by following the Aurifil Pinterest boards, the Aurifil Facebook page and on Aurifilthread Instagram! All are updated daily and throughout the day to provide you with the best the sewing world has to offer!

For more information about Aurifil products, including thread weights and Designer Collections, and where to purchase from your local quilt shop or select online shops, please visit Aurifil.com.

 

 

 

 

Aurifil 2015 December Designer of the Month Celine Perkins

Aurifil 2015 Celine Perkins Dec designers logo

Welcome to our last interview and Mini Quilt for 2015 in our Designer of the Month program!  I’m Designer/Radio show host PatSloan, and it’s been wonderful to meet these 12 Designers this year and get to know them.

Our December interview and mini quilt is with Celine Perkins of Perkins Dry Goods.  Celine’s quilts are warm and cozy and you just want to curl up in them! Celine is a master piecer and has great use of fabric in her designs.  This past year we’ve gotten to know each other and I really love seeing a peek into her creative life  at her Instagram account, take a look.
Pat Sloan Perfect Colors3We continue our MONTHLY thread BOX giveaway (seriously folks… you could win a box of my thread which is over $120.00 value.. for making a quilt block… you have to join in!). We will pick one random winner that has made a  block from our 2014 designers and that random person receives a FULL BOX of my Aurifil thread as the prize! Winners are all contacted via Flickr email and posted at our FLICK GROUP HERE

Let’s get to know Celine!

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Top Ten Tuesday {Quilts}

Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday!  Include some time for yourself during this hectic holiday season by spending some quality fabric shopping time in a local quilt shop ( Aurifil loves local quilt shops) to pick out some lovely fabrics to make one of these free  quilt patterns from top designers!

 

Top Ten

 

 

1.To The Point: A Quick n’ Easy Jelly Quilt Tutorial by Amy from Stitchery Dickory Dock

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2. Evening Blooms Quilt Tutorial by Carina Gardner

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3. Genny & Ruth Pattern by Elizabeth Hartman for Robert Kaufman Fabrics

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4. Storytime Squares Quilt by Rae from Made by Rae

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5. It Takes Two featured on All People Quilt

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6. Moxie by Tula Pink

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7. Amish Glow by John Kubiniec for McCall’s Quilting

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8. Simple Sawtooth Star Quilt Pattern by Heidi for Riley Blake

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9. Scrappy Pinwheel Block Tutorial by Brenda from Just A Bit Frayed

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10.Simply Style Stacked Squares Quilt  by Erica Jackman for Moda Bake Shop

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Find free patterns, tips, tutorials and inspiration by following the Aurifil Pinterest boards, the Aurifil Facebook page and Aurifilthread on Instagram! All are updated throughout the day everyday to provide you with the best the sewing world has to offer!

Learn about Aurifil products and recommended threads for all of your projects by visiting  www.aurifil.com 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday {Sewing Tips}

Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday! Did you grow up with a mother, grandmother, dad, grandfather or other person in your life that were quilters or seamstresses or tailors?  If so, you may have been handed down an amazing tool bag of creative ways to help your sewing game.  If you did not grow up in a sewing environment, you may wonder where you can find techniques to help your creative time become more productive.  Here is a list of ten fantastic and free tutorials including everything from needle knowledge to recessed bag zippers from top designers and brands to help you make the most of your sewing time!

 

1. A Quilt without Binding by Rita from Red Pepper Quilts

Quilts without Binding - Tutorial

 

2. My Favorite Interfacing Trick by Betz White

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3. How to Make Needles your Friend from  Checker and Schmetz Needles

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4. Quilt Binding Basics by Julie from Jaybird Quilts

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5. Before You Cut Your Fabric by Tilly from Tilly and the Buttons

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6. Mitered Corners or Rolled Hems by Melly Sews

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7. How to install an invisible zipper ( no pins needed) by Jona from Stop Staring and Start Sewing

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8. How to Add a Recessed Zipper to a Tote from Channy from Stitchlab

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9. Understanding Thread Tension from Threads

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10. Aurifil Thread Weights by Wendi from Shiny Happy World                                (this post is for appliqué but the explanation of the thread weight differences and photo is great) thread-weight-sample-2000-px-600x277

 

Find more free patterns, tips, tutorials and inspiration by following the Aurifil Pinterest boards, the Aurifil Facebook page and on Aurifilthread Instagram! All are updated daily and throughout the day to provide you with the best the sewing world has to offer!

For more information about Aurifil products, including thread weights and Designer Collections, and where to purchase from your local quilt shop or select online shop, please visit Aurifil.com.